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Sunday, 13 December 2015

Monash University teaches mindfulness in free online course

Mindfulness is about paying attention to each moment.
Mindfulness is about paying attention to each moment. Melanie Russell
by Tim Dodd
Learn how to reduce your stress and enjoy life by learning "mindfulness" in a new free online course being offered by Monash University.
"Mindfulness is ... about intentionally paying attention to each moment, being fully engaged in whatever is happening around and within you, with an attitude of friendliness and compassion," the university says on the course website.
Course presenters Craig Hassed (who is a senior lecturer and mindfulness co-ordinator at Monash University) and Richard Chambers (a clinical psychologist and mindfulness consultant at the university) say on their blog that mindfulness is an important life skill that can be learnt.
Being unmindful "costs us time and energy, causes mistakes, impairs memory, reduces enjoyment, impairs communication, slows learning, and is associated with stress and poor mental health" they say.
They point to research which shows that when we are not deliberately paying attention to something, our brain clicks into a default mode characterised by mind wandering, operating on "autopilot", dwelling on the past, and worrying about judgment, criticism and the future.
The six-week course is offered on the FutureLearn massive open online course (MOOC) platform which Monash University belongs to. It starts on February 8 and requires three hours a week.
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